While we visited the Oregon Coast last month we had one gorgeous day. Typically we’d go to the beach and chill. This time we chose to go for a hike up Cascade Head.
Cascade Head is located north of Lincoln City, Oregon. From the top of the bluffs views of the coastline looking toward Road’s End in Lincoln City, the Salmon River Estuary and craggy cliffs along the coastline looking north. The area was donated in the 60’s to the non-profit Nature Conservancy to protect the wildflower meadows from development. Unfortunately, they are now threatened by the vast number of visitors each year. In response, they close two of the trailheads for 6 months of the year, ban pets and encourage hikers to stay on the trails.
The Nature Conservancy lower Trail was the only one available for our hike. It started at the parking lot in Knight Park. There is ample room for a truck our size (I wouldn’t take our big trailer down here!). There are porta-potties…but they smell so bad, that unless you are dying and cannot wait until Lincoln City…
The parking lot is adjacent to the Salmon River Estuary, where the Salmon River meets the Pacific Ocean. It is an amazing place to visit. I just stood at the edge and took the beauty of it deep into my soul. The birds were plentiful…made me want to become a birder.
The lower trail crosses over a winding road, through US Forest and private property. It is moderate in the beginning and becomes more difficult as you ascend. If your knees hurt or you easily lose your breath, this hike is going to give you fits!
The trail is clearly mark and runs along 3 Rocks road and then crosses the road. (WATCH for cars!). Next the trail weaves uphill beside Grass Mountain Road. It is a gentle, but rigorous ascent. There were spots of mud and places where the roots were apart of the trail.
At the top of this hill the trail opens to a large meadow. Here we crossed Grass Mountain Road and walked along the road to the entrance of the main trail up to the bluff.
The beginning of this portion of the hike is steep, had to keep focused! But it leveled out and we meandered through a nice wooded area.
There were a couple of bridges and spots to rest along the way. Even a few springs and mini "waterfalls"!
Pretty soon, I saw the glimpses of sun and sparkling water. We were close! Good thing because by this point Bear was complaining.
So, we encouraged her to continue…and she did great…until she found the mud and realized the importance of paying attention when you walk.
and I kept snapping pictures…
A beautiful hike, a beautiful day, a beautiful memory made.